Men’s Basketball Defeats Adrian 71-44 in MIAA Tournament Semifinals - To Face Hope in Final
Thursday, February 21, 2013
Story by Mitch Blankespoor, Photo Credit: Sandy Palmatter
GRAND RAPIDS, MI – The Calvin College men’s basketball team faced the Bulldogs of Adrian College for the third time this season on Thursday night at the Van Noord Arena. This time, however, the stakes were raised. The two MIAA foes met in the MIAA Tournament semifinals, the round that Calvin failed to get past last season. The Knights defeated Adrian for the third time this season by a score of 71-44. With its win, Calvin advances to the MIAA Tournament finals against the Flying Dutchmen of Hope College.
Calvin, who came into the contest ranked 15th in the most recent men’s basketball poll by d3hoops.com, connected on its first five shots. Calvin junior center Tyler Kruis (Grandville/Calvin Christian) scored three of these baskets. A three-pointer from junior forward Tyler Dykstra (Holland/Holland Christian) with 14:19 to play in the first half gave the Knights a 15-7 lead.
“It really helped to hit some early shots,” said Calvin head coach Kevin Vande Streek in a postgame interview. “We were something like 0-11 last time we played them [Adrian] before we got a bucket.”
Calvin continued to stretch its lead. An offensive rebound and basket from senior forward Tom Snikkers (Hudsonville/Unity Christian) pushed the Knights’ lead to 24-10 with 9:01 remaining.
Adrian responded with two three-pointers in as many possessions from freshman Ben Rodak (Imlay City/Imlay City HS) and sophomore Eric Lewis (Detroit, MI) to cut Calvin’s lead to eight.
A tip-in from sophomore center Daniel Stout (Escondido, CA/Calvin Christian) put the Knight’s lead back to 32-18 with 4:14 remaining.
Adrian cut slightly into Calvin’s lead, but the Knights took a 35-23 lead into halftime.
Kruis led all scorers at the break with nine points. Dykstra chipped in six points and five rebounds. Lewis led Adrian with seven points.
The Bulldogs had Calvin’s lead down to single digits early in the second half, at 37-28. Calvin answer with a 20-5 run spanning nine minutes. The Knights led 57-33 with 9:32 to play. Adrian could not recover, and the Knights had punched their ticket to the MIAA Tournament finals.
“We had good practices on Monday and Tuesday of this week,” Vande Streek said. “We were very focused.”
Four Knights scored in double figures. Kruis led all scorers with 15. Sophomore guard Jordan Brink (Dyer, IN/Illiana Christian) finished with 12 points including a breakaway dunk in transition in the first half. Dykstra and Stout tallied ten points apiece.
Sean Gallant led the Bulldogs with nine points in defeat.
Calvin, now 23-3, has reached the 23-win plateau for the first time since 2006. Calvin hosts Hope, which defeated Trine 76-63 in the other semifinal, in the MIAA Tournament finals at 7:30 p.m. Saturday. This will mark the seventh time in eight years the two rivals have met in the finals. The Knights are looking to secure an NCAA III Men’s Basketball Tournament berth for the first time since the 2006-07 season.
MIAA TOURNAMENT TICKET INFO
If Calvin is victorious on Thursday night, tickets for Saturday’s game will be available at the Box Office on Friday, February 22, from 9:00am to 5:00pm and on Saturday, February 23, from 9:00am to 12:00pm. Calvin students may obtain 1 FREE ticket per student ID, with a maximum of 2 student ID’s per person until 12:00pm on Saturday, after which time tickets will be $3.00 while supplies last. There are a limited number of
designated student tickets (860). Tickets will be available for purchase at the Arena two hours before game time. All tickets will be General Admission.
If Calvin is victorious on Thursday night, tickets for Saturday’s game will be available at Calvin’s website (http://www.calvin.edu/boxoffice), and at the Box Office on Friday, February 22, from 9:00am to 5:00pm and on Saturday, February 23, from 9:00am to 12:00pm. Tickets will also be sold at the Arena starting at 1:00pm on Saturday if we are hosting the women’s finals, or at 5:30pm if we are only hosting the men’s finals. All tickets will be General Admission.